Philadelphia Eagles announcer Merrill Reese to receive 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 28: Philadelphia Eagles broadcaster Merrill Reese talks to the crowd during his Eagles Hall of Fame induction during halftime of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on November 28, 2016 in Phi

Going into his 48th year behind the microphone, Philadelphia Eagles play by play announcer Merrill Reese will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the 2024 recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio Television Award.  

Reese said he got the call on his way to the Merion Golf Club Wednesday morning.

"I said who do I know in Canton, Ohio?  And it was the President of the NFL Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame and he gave me the news and I was very emotional because I never saw it coming and never expected it in a million years" said Reese as he stepped off the golf course at Downingtown County Club.

His phone has been blowing up with well-wishes from current and former Eagles. 

Over the past day, he received messages from the radio announcers from all the other 31 NFL teams. Big respect to the longest tenured announcer in the league. 

"I prepare for every game as if it’s the most important game I will ever broadcast and it’s also a real feeling for the Philadelphia sports fans. For Eagles fans it's easy to communicate with people who have such great respect," he told Fox 29.

"Reese got his start calling high school football games in Pottstown. Now, decades later, he’s on his way to Canton, Ohio. After his August enshrinement, he’ll join the likes of other legendary broadcasters like Jim Nantz, Pat Summerall and John Madden who have won the award.

"There are so many great people and great players and to be a recipient of the Pete Rozelle award that has a very distinguished list of award winners made me feel very, very humble," Reese said.

Many fans are known to turn off the TV sound and listen to Reese on the radio. He also knows listeners consider him family. 

In a post on "X", team owner Jeffery Lurie says Reese "served as the "soundtrack to the Philadelphia Eagles".  

At 81, Reese can’t say how much longer he’ll be behind the mic, but he’s certainly not done yet.

"I hope my legacy is that I added to the enjoyment of this great sport, and this this great city and this wonderful, wonderful team" said Reese.

"Each year, the Hall of Fame recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to improving radio and television in professional football, and this year’s recipient, Merrill Reese, represents exactly what we look for when we talk about who’s made a big impact in broadcasting," said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice."

Reese will be honored during the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio the first weekend in August. 

The Philadelphia native, coined ‘Voice of the Eagles,’ is the longest serving play-by-play announcer in the NFL and has been announcing for the Philly team on 94.1 WIP-FM since 1977. 

Reese began his radio career as a sportscaster for WPAZ in Pottstown, where he called high school football games. He then started working at WBCB in Levittown, where he currently serves as co-owner.

In the 70’s, he announced morning sports on WWDB and pre-and post-game Eagles shows on WIP. 

Reese went on to work with Charlie Swift, who had been calling Eagles games since 1969. 

In 1977, Reese received the news that Swift had passed away and WIP wanted him to fill in as the lead play-by-play sportscaster. The rest is history.

Reese, a Temple University alum, has had many memorable moments announcing for the Eagles including calling their Super Bowl LII victory in 2018, which he has said marked the highlight of his career. 

Throughout his career, Reese has received numerous awards and recognition, including Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year, Lindsey Nelson Award for Excellence in Sportscasting, Philadelphia’s Best Sportscaster by Philadelphia Magazine and induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Temple University Communications Hall of Fame and Overbrook High School Hall of Fame.

"I will never willingly retire," Reese once said in an interview. "They will have to remove me with a crane, because this is what I love doing more than anything else in the world."